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Gatorplast boards
3A Composites: Gatorplast


[3A Composites] A registered trademark for a laminated foamboard. Gatorplast is made from a rigid polystyrene foam core laminated between two facing boards of high-impact polystyrene The strong, flat panels are lightweight, water-resistant and dimensionally stable.

Synonyms and Related Terms

Gator-plast (sp); Gatorboard


GatorPlast is used as a working surface for artist to support pastels, paintings and other media. It is commonly used to stretch water color paper. Gatorfoam is used in exhibition and displays as a backing board and mounting surface. It is also used for screen and digital printing.

Personal risks

  • Under high heat can produce aromatic hydrocarbons including, styrene, ethyl benzene and other polymer fragments.
  • May contain minute amounts of Formaldehyde.
  • Skin and Eye Contact, Inhalation: Dust may cause irritation.
  • Combustible
  • 3A Composites: Safety Data Sheet

Collection Risks

May emit acidic vapors. Increased off-gassing can occur with high heat and moisture.

Environmental Risks

Material is not recyclable or biodegradable.

Working Properties

Gatorplast can be cut with a utility knife, saw or router.

Exhibit Construction Reviews/Tips/Case Studies

AIC Link about Backing Inserts ( )


GatorPlast® is available in black and white colors in a range of thicknesses (3/16", 1/2", 3/4", 1", 1.5", 2 in), widths (48" or 60") and lengths (96", 120")

Resources and Citations

  • Abby Schleicher, contributed information, MWG group, 2020.
  • Pam Hatchfield, Pollutants in the Museum Environment, Archetype Press, London, 2002
  • 3A Composites Product sheet: Gatorplast

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